Сходства и различия между книгой «Шерлок Холмс» А. К. Дойла и ее экранизацией

XV Международный конкурс научно-исследовательских и творческих работ учащихся
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Сходства и различия между книгой «Шерлок Холмс» А. К. Дойла и ее экранизацией

Клементьева С.О. 1
Царькова А.И. 1
Автор работы награжден дипломом победителя II степени
Текст работы размещён без изображений и формул.
Полная версия работы доступна во вкладке "Файлы работы" в формате PDF


He is a great investigator

And a theoretical consultant.

He easily finds a perpetrator,

And his results areso exultant.

He is well-known everywhere-

His famous profile,a hooked nose,

A century will pass but he’ll be there,

This is my friend, Sherlock Holmes!

October 31, 2022 will be a significant date in the literary world. 130 years ago, in 1892, the English writer Arthur Conan Doyle first published his book "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - a collection of 12 detective stories. The hero Sherlock Holmes got into the Guinness Book of Records as the most popular literary character. As for me, I read these books with great pleasure and Sherlock is my favorite character from all the Conan Doyle’s novels. It is important to note that the adventures of Holmes are the most adaptable literary work in the history of mankind. According to 56 stories, there are about 210 films with the participation of a detective.

When does a work become really folk? When it diverges into quotes. Everyone knows and often uses in the speech a famous phrase from the movie "Elementary, Watson!". But where did it come from in the movie? After reading the original of Arthur Conan Doyle's book "The Famous Sherlock Holmes", I found that it does not contain this replica and many other details. I paid attention to this interesting fact and decided to study similarities and differences between the book "Sherlock Holmes" by A. K. Doyle and its film version." For my research I chose the film "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson" directed by Igor Maslenikov (1979-2000, USSR). I was prompted to choose this version of the film because of the opinions of film critics several of which I will give below.

"What kind of film versions of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books we have not seen! English, American and others.... But, honestly, watching them, it seemed to me that something was missing. Maybe a fraction of sincerity or something else.... Therefore, there is nothing to say that the Soviet Sherlock Holmes is the best! Firstly, this is not a detective story that you look at like some kind of horror movie - with a tremor in your knees, but one that intrigues every moment and - most importantly - does not bother, no matter how much you look. Secondly, the emotions of the characters and the details are the most genuine. Watson's surprise at the first meeting with Holmes is so sincere that you believe them. It’she best version of the Sherlock Holmes stories." "[5]

Maria Wet, "Expert"

"To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised! The actors' acting was great, 19th century England looked like a real reality! The beginning was good, it was funny to watch Dr. Watson's bewilderment (until he and Holmes put all the dots on the i).

The actors met the expectations and even more, the effect of the game was great. Calm, confident Sherlock Holmes investigates crimes easily. He does not rely on intuition but completely goes into work with his head and relies on himself! But Vasily Livanov (the actor who played Sherlock) was awarded for the best performance of Holmes by the Queen of England. Watson, kind and eternally surprised, tries to imitate his detective friend. The scenery did not disappoint! When you watch a movie, it's like you're plunging into the atmosphere of the 19th century.... It just needs to be seen!""[8]

Anastasia Podsevatkina, "Moscow News"

It's no secret that nowadays people, having little time to read, replace it by watching a film version of these works, where the directors make their own adjustments and ideas to the plot. So, there may be confusion between an original and a film for a particular book, so it is important to find out how many inconsistencies there are in them and how crucial it is. That is why there is no doubt about the relevance of this topic. I hope that you will find it interesting too.

The purpose of my work is to identify similarities and differences between the work "Sherlock Holmes" by A. K. Doyle and the film by Igor Maslennikov "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson" and analyze the reasonability and usefulness of watching it.

To achieve this goal it is necessary to solve the following tasks:

to study the literature on the topic;

to watch the film adaptations;

to find examples confirming the differences between the film and the book;

to conduct a survey on this topic;

to compare and analyze the results;

to draw conclusions.

The novelty of the research lies in the fact that the subject of the chosen research is actually new, its essence is little known to the general public.

Hypothesis: the main characters and events from A. K. Doyle's book "Sherlock Holmes" have more similarities than differences with their filmed version of Igor Maslennikov and it is undoubtedly positive.

The object of my research: film adaptation of Sherlock Holmes as the most popular character in the world literature

The subject of the study is the main inconsistencies of the film with the book.

Methods of work. This study is based on a set of methods and techniques. Surveys, analysis, work with official sources and Internet resources were used.

A brief review of the literature.

The main sources for writing this work were materials from official literary websites, articles from national and international periodicals and books.

Practical significance

The materials of this study can be used:

for connoisseurs of Doyle's creativity and fans of watching a good movie;

during the lessons of country studies, Literature, foreign languages, extracurricular classes at school, class lessons;

for newspaper publications, articles.

Chapter 1. From the history of creation

1.1 "Sherlock Holmes" by A. K. Doyle. History of creation

Sherlock Holmes is a literary character created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Conan Doyle's works dedicated to the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a famous London "consulting" detective, have become classics of the detective genre. The prototype of Holmes is considered to be Dr. Joseph Bell, a colleague of Conan Doyle, who worked at the Edinburgh Royal Hospital and was famous for his ability to determine a person's character, occupation and past in the smallest details.

Sherlock Holmes, an intelligent, noble and just fighter against evil and defender of the offended, has become a worldwide cult figure and a character of folklore. There are dozens of societies, museums and monuments dedicated to him in different countries, admirers write letters to him, novelists compose continuations of his adventures, and the Guinness Book of Records calls Holmes "the most filmed literary hero."

In total, Sherlock Holmes appears in 56 short stories and 4 novels by Arthur Conan Doyle. In most cases, the narration is conducted on behalf of Holmes' best friend and companion, Dr. Watson.


"A study in crimson tones"

"The Sign of Four"

"The Hound of the Baskervilles"

"Valley of Horror

short stories

Collected in the following collections:

"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes"

"Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" ("Notes on Sherlock Holmes")

"The Return of Sherlock Holmes"

"His farewell bow"

"The Sherlock Holmes Archive"

In the second half of the XIX century a detective genre was born and achieved great popularity. It began with the classic story by Edgar Poe "Murder in the Rue Morgue" (1841). Then detective stories were widely used by Charles Dickens, Emile Gaborio, Wilkie Collins and many other writers. In numerous novels, skillful and astute detectives exposed cunning criminals, while the image of the detective was, as a rule, quite schematic.

Conan Doyle, unlike his predecessors, decided to create a vivid image of a detective, noble and fair, who would have not only respect but also the sympathy of readers. The prototype was Dr. Joseph Bell, who was admired by Doyle for his ability to draw far-reaching conclusions about a person according to small and inconspicuous details.

Doyle wrote the first sketches of a new novel in his notebook in 1886. After going through a bunch of options, he decided to give the detective a surname Holmes, which was common in England and not very common name Sherringford (at first there was a variant of "Sherrington"). Later "Sherringford" was replaced by the Irish name "Sherlock". Historians have found many Sherlocks among Doyle's acquaintances as well as Sherlock Street in the suburbs of Birmingham, where Conan Doyle worked for a while [6]. The faithful friend of the detective originally bore the pretentious name Ormond Sacker, in the final version he became the prosaic John Watson. The writer settled his characters in the center of London, on Baker Street, 221-b (where the number with the letter denotes an apartment on the second floor of 221 with a separate entrance). In fact, the house with the number 221 on Baker Street did not exist at first. Now it is a museum (Appendix 1).

The first novel about Holmes ("A Study in crimson tones") was ready in 1886 but nobody wanted to publish it for a long time, perhaps because the market was oversaturated with detectives. The writer was able to publish the novel in 1887 but only at the cost of ceding copyright to the publishing house (which subsequently made a huge profit on monopoly reprints of the novel). Critics cautiously praised a young and little-known author. In 1890, simultaneously in England and the USA, the second Holmes story “The Sign of Four”, was published, and caused a sensation. Soon the popularity of Holmes reached unprecedented heights, readers and the magazine "Strand" demanded from Doyle more and more new stories about the adventures of the noble detective. The circulation of "Strand" increased from two hundred to five hundred thousand copies a month; Conan Doyle was the most popular author of the magazine and received an unprecedented fee - 50 pounds per story. It was the stories about Holmes that allowed Conan Doyle in 1891 to leave his unsuccessful London practice as an ophthalmologist and concentrate entirely on literary activity [6].

Conan Doyle considered the Holmes stories to be "light reading" and did not share the readers' delight. Moreover, he was annoyed by the fact that the readers prefer the works about Holmes to all the other works of the writer, whereas Conan Doyle considered himself, first of all, the author of a historical novel. In the end, Sir Arthur decided to end the detective story by eliminating the most popular literary character in a fight with Professor Moriarty (the "godfather" of the English mafia, as they would say now) at the Reichenbach Falls. However, a stream of letters from outraged readers, among whom were members of the royal family (according to legend, Queen Victoria herself), forced the writer to "revive" the famous detective and continue describing his adventures.

1.2. The creation of the film.

The film of Igor Maslennikov "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson"wasreleased in 1980, USSR. The performance of the role of Sherlock Holmes belongs to Vasily Livanov.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson” includes 5 films (11 episodes).

The history of the film began with the Lenfilm studio. Vasily Livanov breathed an extraordinary sense of warmth and unshakable calmness into Holmes character. But at first Livanov did not want to be taken to the role of a world-famous detective. The arguments were: "What kind of Holmes is this?! We know Livanov: he is noisy, unpredictable ..." However, after the first auditions, the actor was approved for the role of Holmes. And ther choice was very successful. Livanov played Sherlock as a balanced, calm person leaving the qualities inherent in the detective - efficiency, eccentricity. Sharp cheekbones, aquiline nose, straight forehead and sharpness of gaze made Holmes even more similar in Livanov's performance. For most Russians Vasily Livanov remains the only real Sherlock Holmes. His impeccable sense of style and inimitable irony made him our symbol of "Englishness", the standard of "gentleman". He became a reflection of a kind and ironic idea of a certain generation of Soviet people about the British of the Victorian era. The Soviet series about Sherlock Holmes (1978-1985) are recognized as one of the best productions in cinema even by the British, and since February 23, 2006 we can talk about the state level of this recognition. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain decided to award the title of Knight of the Order of the British Empire to Russian actor Vasily Livanov.

Conclusion: Sherlock Holmesinvented by Arthur Conan Doyle is a man who "has never lived and will never die." He has been stirring the mind and imagination of millions of readers and viewers for 130 years. The film "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson" by Igor Maslenikov, perfectly staged and brilliantly played by actors is considered a model by right.

Chapter 2. The main differences between the book "Sherlock Holmes" by A. K. Doyle and its film version

2.1 Inconsistencies of Holmes' image in the book and the film

Interest to the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle appeared as early as 1891, after their publication in the Strand magazine. The adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes stories began during the writer's lifetime from 1900. Many societies dedicated to Holmes have been created all over the world. The works of Arthur Conan Doyle belong to the world literary classics.

So, about 100 years have passed since the publication of the first book to the appearance of the first film. During this time, people's lives and everyday life could change, so the filmmakers made small adjustments and slightly updated the plot for ease of perception.[3].

It should be noted that actors V. Livanov and V. Solomin created full-fledged images of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. They were able to convey the relationship between people as in a story and give each character individual traits. For example: Watson, as a former military man, used to to do everything properly and V. Solomin conveyed it; Holmes, despite the situation, never raises his voice, that means he does not show weakness. In the film Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are both interesting characters. They are equal and complement each other.

In order to understand how close Igor Maslennikov's directorial work is to the book more accurately, I compared the first meetings of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

XIX century. John Watson and his friend Mike Stanford came to see the apartment and got acquainted with the future neighbor in a rented apartment. They found Holmes doing a scientific experiment which was explained in details by Sherlock. After that, Holmes started talking about the room and about his habits and character. At the end of the conversation Watson began putting things away and settle into a new home.

Igor Maslennikov tried to show an exact meeting based on the work of Conan Doyle: with quotes, with the same actions and with the same pleasant surprise of Watson to the discovery of Holmes. He succeeded. Dialogues, music, actors – everything is done with love and it is felt. The atmosphere of the book is conveyed wonderfully.

But how does Sherlock Holmes from the film differ from his literary hero? [3].

1. Deer hunter hatand a cape. Today, imagining the famous detective, we see him in that hat from the movie. After all, Sherlock walks in it around London in most of the film versions. In fact, this element of the wardrobe was never mentioned in Conan Doyle's book. For the first time, a hat with two visors appeared on the detective in illustrations by Sidney Paget — he drew his hero in the woods or somewhere in the countryside, and it looked quite appropriate (Appendix 2). But the filmmakers unknowingly forced Holmes to walk around London in such a hat. And this is already a blatant moveton because a real Holmes, a true gentleman, always pedantic and neat, would never allow himself to wear a headdress in urban conditions designed for walking in the woods and for hunting. Another piece of clothing that is mistakenly considered to belong exclusively to Holmes is a cape (Appendix 3). In fact, almost everyone wore such raincoats at that time but mostly outside the city as it was convenient to walk outside the city in them.

2. "Elementary, Watson!" The book Sherlock never said this phrase. He could say, "This is elementary" or "My dear Watson," but it's not the same thing. For the first time this famous phrase appeared in the novels of the satirist Woodhouse and in the film adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.

3. "A deductive method" In all films it is said that Sherlock Holmes became the discoverer of the deductive method and thanks to this he had great success in solving crimes. It turns out that the use of the deductive method is described for the first time in the story "Murder in the Rue Morgue" by Edgar Poe, which was published earlier. It is interesting that in the very first story about Holmes "A Study in crimson tones" Conan Doyle puts into the mouth of his character a contemptuous review of the deductive abilities and methods of work of the protagonist Auguste Dupin. If we talk about Conan Doyle himself he composed his stories "from the reverse": first he came up with an exciting denouement and only then, using the method of induction, he "wound" the plot around it adjusting the events to the finale.

4. "Holmes is a versatile personality"

Thanks to the cinema people know Holmes as a limited person who is well versed only in criminology and has no idea about elementary things. But in the book the detective appears as a sufficiently educated and developed person. He was a music lover, knew classical music and composed music. He not only played the violin but saw at a glance the differences between the Amati instrument and the creation of Stradivari. The "true" Holmes read a lot, knew the works of Goethe and Flaubert, loved the poetry of Petrarch. In addition, he loved spending his free time in nature: listening to birds singing and enjoying the view of flowering plants.

5. Age

The series "Acquaintance" and "Bloody Inscription" are based on the stories "Motley Ribbon" and "Study in crimson tones". This very "Sketch" was Conan Doyle's first story about the famous detective. Holmes and Watson met there. In Russian series these are already accomplished middle-aged men. By the standards of Victorian England they could be considered almost elderly. Vasily Livanov is 44 years old here. Vitaly Solomin is younger – he is 38 years old. That is a lot. Their age does not correspond to literary characters. The action of the story takes place in 1914. It turns out that the famous detective was born in 1854. The action of the "Study in Crimson tones" takes place in 1881 that means that Holmes is only 27 years old there. But Watson, oddly enough, is a little older than his friend. Those who like to clarify details by calculations tied to the date of receipt of his medical diploma found out that the doctor was born in 1852. And, therefore, at the time of acquaintance he was 29 years old.

6. Education

This is not mentioned at all in the film. Holmes immediately appears to us as a whole established person. It is extremely difficult to imagine him as a student – it seems that he was born just like that - with a pipe and receding hairline.

The book doesn't say much about where and how Holmes studied. However, Conan Doyle gave a few inconspicuous details in the stories. And if you use a deductive method of Sherlock Holmes, you can restore something.

"One guy who works in the chemical laboratory at our hospital… In my opinion, he knows anatomy perfectly and he is a first-class chemist but it seems that he has never studied medicine systematically" [2]. This recommendation is given to Holmes by an acquaintance of Dr. Watson. The judgment is subjective as the story is full of such words as "seems" and "in my opinion". But everything is clear about chemistry. But where did Holmes get such knowledge?

"During last years of my stay at the university I and my method were talked a lot" these are the words of Holmes from the story "The Rite of the House of Musgrave" [3].

"Did I tell you about Victor Trevor? He was my only friend during the two years I spent in college" is his direct speech from the story "Gloria Scott".

It remains to be found out only which university Holmes studied at. The most venerable universities of Britain – Oxford and Cambridge - fought for the right to be considered the alma mater of the great detective. And the last one won. Experts in the history of the laws and customs of these educational institutions found one interesting detail in the same story "Gloria Scott": "Trevor was my only friend, and we became friends by chance, thanks to his terrier, which one morning grabbed my ankle when I was going to church." It is known for certain that in the XIX century it was forbidden for students to keep dogs in Oxford. That means it was Cambridge after all. Even a specific Cambridge college can be called: Gonville and Caius College as this college has been associated with doctors and chemists. So, we can analyze that friends and colleagues act in Conan Doyle's stories: Watson who is a doctor with a diploma and an undergraduate student Holmes who is another doctor without a diploma.

Conclusion: while reading the book and watching the movie I identified the following differences:

a deer hunter's hat and a cape in the movie;

Sherlock's phrase: "Elementary, Watson!";

deductive method, the discoverer of which was Sherlock in the film;

Holmes' versatile personality;



2.2 Practical research. Its results

Working on my research, I wondered how well other people know a true Sherlock Holmes from the book and whether they have read this magnificent work at all. I decided to conduct a survey among people of different ages and generations. To do this, I created 2 Google forms for my survey (one for classmates, another one for the older generation). The results can be seen in the diagrams (Appendix 4).

77.8% of older respondents read the book by Arthur Conan Doyle "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", while only 6% (1 person) did it in English, the rest in Russian. At the same time, 94% of respondents watched the film version of "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson" directed by Igor Maslenikov (1979-2000. USSR), that is 12% more than readers. Among the main differences are that the film is more emotional, and Dr. Watson is more romantic. They also noticed that the role of Mrs. Hudson in the film is more significant than in the book despite she is only an episodic hero. But there are also those who did not notice any differences at all.

As for the results of a questionnaire of my classmates, here we can see that 20% of respondents read the book by Arthur Conan Doyle "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes". Every student chose the Russian language for that. At the same time, 40% of respondents watched the film version of "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson" directed by Igor Maslenikov, which is 20% more than readers. Film adaptations of other directors were watched by 60% of respondents.

So, on the basis of the collected material it is possible to make a conclusion that many people have read the book by K. Doyle but more people have watched the film based on its motives. It confirms that in the modern world people replace reading with films due to lack of time, so it is especially important to choose a successful film adaptation. In addition, the respondents understand that there are differences in the film and the book but not everyone knows exactly which ones. That is why, in my opinion, it is necessary to explain the inconsistencies in order to avoid substituting the meaning of the book.

During English lessons and extracurricular classes, we get acquainted with the works of foreign writers, including K. Doyle. That is why, after this research I decided to share my findings with my classmates because many of them were interested in this topic. At one of the English lessons dedicated to K. Doyle I told the students about my practical work (Appendix 5). In order to explain everything clearly, my English teacher and I organized watching an episode from the series "The Hound of the Baskervilles". There, Holmes, instructing Watson, says the following phrase: "This is elementary, Watson!" After rereading this passage in the book we made sure that the literary hero did not use this phrase in a conversation with Watson. I continued sharing my findings and all my classmates listened to me with great interest. They asked their questions on this topic. The students were so interested in the topic of film adaptations that they wanted to take an active part init and after analyzing several more options to create a media library of the most relevant films. In the future, we plan to continue our work and analyze the film versions of books included in the list of mandatory for high school students according to the textbook “Spotlight”. We are sure that it will be important for future pupils to use this information on the lessons.


"Sherlock Holmes", the most famous detective in the literary world, who came from the pen of Arthur Conan Doyle, still remains a recognized favorite of the public. The recognizable character has acquired its own characteristic features, certain attributes that allow him not to get lost among other heroes and to be familiar even to those who have not even met with the work of Conan Doyle. To this day, film versions of numerous adventures of this detective in the form of films and TV series remain relevant. Maslennikov's adaptation is still considered the best despite the fact that modern youth prefers the British version of these adventures. Perhaps over time other adaptations of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes will be created and other modern problems will be raised in them but Igor Maslennikov's adaptation is interesting because it reflects the era of the great detective and shows this diamond in a natural environment. Despite the fact that literary film characters differ from each other in some aspects, they are related to them and have more similarities than differences. It is undoubtedly positive and confirms our hypothesis.

I would like to note that the secret of the popularity of I. Maslennikov's film version is that it follows the novel and is not based on its motives. In addition, the director idealized England at the end of the XIX century, paid attention to the little things: costumes, scenery, approaching the era through the architecture of old cities (filmed in Riga, Leningrad, Abkhazia), conveyed the relationship between people of that time. Sherlock and Watson partners are equivalent and complementary.

So, after my research, I can boldly state that Igor Maslennikov's film can be certainly used as a worthy adaptation of the British classics.

Bibliographic list

E.A. Grishina. A short dictionary of foreign words. Astrel: AST, 2005.

Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes: A Study in crimson tones. Moscow House of Books, 2019. p 640

Arthur Conan Doyle. The stories about Sherlock Holmes. St. Petersburg: Anthology, 2021. p.160

Polikarpov Semyon Alexandrovich// The secret of the popularity of the film version. 2018. URL:https://nsportal.ru/ap/library/drugoe/2017/11/13/sekret-populyarnosti-ekranizatsii-proizvedeniy-a-k-doyla-sherlok-0 (date of request: 04.12.21)

Website «Livejournal». Article «Elementary, Watson!» URL:https://maelgon.livejournal.com/203723.html (date of request: 12.11.21)

Website «History». Article «The adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The history of the film» URL:http://www.221b.ru/history1.htm (date of request: 25.11.21)

Website «Readrate». Article «Sherlock Holmes versions». URL:https://readrate.com/rus/ratings/ekranizatsii-sherloka-kholmsa (date of request: 01.112.21)

Website «Kinopoisk online cinema» URL:https://www.kinopoisk.ru/film/77269/reviews/ord/date/status/good/perpage/10/page/3/ (date of request: 04.10.21)

Appendix 1

Baker Street. Sherlock Holmes House Museum

Appendix 2

The drawing from the book "The Return of Sherlock Holmes", 1903

Appendix 3

Deer hunter hat and a cape

Appendix 4

Questionnaire for older generation:

1. Have you read the book by Arthur Conan Doyle "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes"?



2. What language did you read it?

In Russian

In English

3. Have you watched the film version of "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson" directed by Igor Maslenikov (1979-2000. USSR)?



4.What differences can you name between the book and the film adaptation?


5. Do you prefer reading a book or watching a movie based on it? Why?


The results of the survey

Questionnaire for my classmates:

1. Have you read the book by Arthur Conan Doyle "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes"?



2. What language did you read it?

In Russian

In English

3. Have you watched the film version of "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson" directed by Igor Maslenikov (1979-2000. USSR)?



4. Have you watched any other film adaptations of this book?



5. What differences can you name between the book and the film adaptation?


6. Do you prefer reading a book or watching a movie based on it? Why?


The results of the survey

Appendix 5

The English lesson dedicated to K. Doyle

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